MATT Southgate finished as joint runner up at the European Open in Hamburg.

Marcus Armitage shot a superb seven-under-par 65 to triumph but Southgate was one of four players to finish just two shots behind after he fired a final round of 71.

Starting the day four shots off the lead, Armitage stormed through the field to finish on eight under par, two ahead of Southgate, Darius Van Driel, Edoardo Molinari and Thomas Detry.

Defending champion Paul Casey finished two strokes further back following a final round of 68 in an event reduced to 54 holes due to quarantine issues for players, caddies and staff from the UK.

Armitage, who recently set a Guinness World Record for the longest shot (303 yards) caught in a moving car, birdied the first and third at Green Eagle Golf Course before holing out from 80 yards for an eagle on the par-four seventh.

The 33-year-old almost repeated the feat on the ninth to set up a tap-in birdie and complete the front nine in just 29, before birdies on the 11th, 12th and 14th took him four shots clear.

The Southend born Southgate responded to dropping a shot on the 11th with a tap-in birdie on the next and after Armitage gave the chasing pack further hope with a bogey on the 16th, Southgate closed to within one with a birdie on the 15th.

However, Southgate’s hopes were effectively dashed when he found water off the tee on the 18th, which left Van Driel needing to eagle the same hole to force a play-off.

A superb drive left Van Driel just 226 yards to the green, but he bafflingly opted to lay up and when he unsurprisingly failed to hole his approach from 92 yards, Armitage could celebrate victory and a place in next week’s US Open.

Ten places in the US Open were available via a mini-order of Merit from the last three European Tour events, with British Masters winner Richard Bland joining Armitage, Southgate, Molinari, Detry, Guido Migliozzi, Mikko Korhonen, Jordan Smith, Adrian Meronk and Dave Coupland in the field at Torrey Pines.

Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger would also have qualified but secured his place via his world ranking following his victory in Denmark.